With its Bacchic masks, grapes and ewers flanking the sofa on which lays the bacchante, and satyr attributes such as the syrinx, goat and hoof feet, this clock is emblematic of the tragic loves of Erigone and Bacchus.
After Bacchus presented the first grape vine to Erigone's father, Icarios, and taught him the art of wine-making, Icarios was slained by shepherds encountered on his travels, who had become inebriated after discovering the fatal drink.
Among related clocks featuring Erigone charmée par l'Amour, a clock by Thomire is in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (ill. H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, p.379, fig. 5.15.19) another at Pavlovsk (ill. A. Vassilievna Alexeieva, Pavlovsk, the Collections, Paris, 1993, vol. I, p. 184, fig. 7), and another illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de La Pendule Française du Moyen-Age au XXe siècle, Paris, 1997, p. 402, fig. C).
Closely related examples sold at auction include a clock by Thomire with dial by Le Roy, formerly with French & Co and sold at Christie's, New York, 24 November 1998, lot 44 ($101,500); a further clock attributed to Thomire sold, Blanchet, Paris, 15 December 1999, lot 92 (FF400,000), and another by the celebrated maître-fondeur André-Antoine Ravrio, sold more recently at, Sotheby's, Amsterdam, 3 December 2002, lot 21.